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Chiefs 17, Texans 16

Chiefs toughen up to stay undefeated

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs had their backs to the end zone in the third quarter, and the Texans had first and goal with a shot to take the lead.

Three straight plays went nowhere, and Houston settled for a field goal. It was a virtuoso display by the NFL's stingiest defense in a stellar second half.

The Chiefs later forced a fumble on Houston's final drive to extend their perfect start.

"You know as well as I do you win with great defenses. That's how it rolls," said coach Andy Reid, whose Chiefs have allowed a league-low 81 points.

Jamaal Charles ran for 86 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Alex Smith had a touchdown scamper.

"It was a physical game," Charles said, "the kind of a game this team needs to go far."

Kansas City punted with 1:46 left, but substitute Texans quarterback Case Keenum, in for injured Matt Schaub, was stripped by linebacker Tamba Hali on second down. Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson recovered.